FRANKFORT, KY — Four medical student volunteers staying at Kentucky Dam Village are helping at River's Bend Retirement Community in Lyon County, where multiple people tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking during Gov. Andy Beshear's daily briefing, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the four students are on site and already at work. Two students will work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the other two will work 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Stack thanked the student volunteers, tearing up as he said, "You are heroes."
"These nursing homes get a bad rap, too many times," the public health commissioner said. "I'm going to tell you, these teams love these residents. The passion and the care and the concern that these leadership teams have for their residents is staggering and profound."
Later Thursday, one of those students, Heather McGuire, shared her thoughts about the experience with Local 6. "I think it's having that type of calm, collective attitude of: I know what I need to do when I need to do it. And these are also people who need your help, and you cannot abandon them. We take it seriously," said McGuire, a student at Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.
During his briefing, Beshear said 134 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kentucky on Thursday. The total number of positive tests in the state now stands at 1,452. The governor said at least 395 Kentuckians have recovered from the novel coronavirus disease.
Beshear said six new deaths were confirmed Thursday. So far, 77 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Kentucky.
The governor also announced a new executive order that will extend workers compensation benefits to front-line workers at a high risk of exposure who have had to quarantine.
Ahead of Easter, Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to spend the holiday weekend at home with their families.
"Do you want it on your conscience, that if you are asymptomatic — you never know — but you get this because you are at something this weekend and someone else passes away for it? How does that reconcile with your faith and with your beliefs? Mine tells me that we look out for our neighbor — and that we protect our neighbor," Beshear said.
Kentuckians who have questions about the coronavirus can call the state hotline at 1-800-722-5725. To see the latest updates from the state, click here.